Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Michael Medved has lost his mind

I have always enjoyed listening to conservative (or is he?) radio talk-show host Michael Medved. While I have never seen eye-to-eye with him on everything, I have always appreciated his thoughtful and eloquent debating style, and yes, on most issues, I agree with him.

Lately though, Medved has appeared to be drinking the establishment-Republican Kool-Aid, even in the face of total irrationality. Medved began losing me last summer when he was sticking up for the Shamnesty bill that was being pushed by both Democrats and Republicans, including our dim-bulb President. Luckily, the American people jammed the switchboards, emails, and mailboxes of our illustrious politicians, and the Shamnesty bill went down to defeat.

Now, Michael Medved's blind defense of that turncoat John McCain has me shaking my head in disgust. Medved proves just how blind he has become with a column he released today entitled Six Big Lies About John McCain. I am not here to affirm or attack all six points that Medved makes - no, I only need to address one, and that would be:
LIE #6: McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform represents a devastating assault on free speech.

TRUTH: McCain-Feingold was a piece of useless, misguided legislation but it’s done no serious damage to the country, the constitution or the conservative pro-life cause. After nearly seven years on the books, robust and impassioned discussion of political issues and candidates is more vibrant and free-wheeling than ever. The pro-life movement (with McCain’s enthusiastic support) has made substantial progress in the last seven years, changing minds and hearts and driving abortion rates to their lowest point in 29 years—unimpeded by McCain-Feingold. More people are involved in donating to candidates and causes than before the legislation, and there’s been an increase in the broadcast of campaign ads and distribution of political materials, not a reduction. Does any American – particularly those in key primary states – honestly believe we now have a shortage of political ads on TV? Those who say that McCain-Feingold took away free speech make no more sense than leftists who claim that the Patriot Act destroyed civil liberties or crushed dissent: their arguments remain utterly disconnected from the real world experience of every American. Hard-hitting, free wheeling debate is alive and well in the land of the free. McCain favored counterweights to lobbyist influence and the corrupting impact of money in politics because he saw that commercial involvement as a powerful force toward corporate welfare and government expansion—betraying the small government ideals he has always embraced.
So, apparently the standard is no longer one of unconstitutionality, but one of damage control. Incredibly, Medved concedes that McCain screwed the pooch and pushed through a stinking heap of a law that attacks free speech. He simply argues that it's just not that bad; not bad enough about which to worry your pretty little head about it. Well thank God for small miracles! Unfortunately, whether or not the law causes any damage is not the point. The First Amendment is very simple: Congress shall make no law prohibiting free speech. What is McCain-Feingold? It is a law, passed by Congress, which prohibits free speech. How does it prohibit free speech? It dictates that certain groups cannot run certain kinds of political ads within a set time limit before an election. It's called precedent Mr. Medved. You, with your law degree from Yale, certainly have to know what precedent is. If McCain-Feingold can be passed, that simply emboldens Congress to turn the screws a little tighter and try to pass another free-speech-inhibiting law that might not be so harmless. Of course, I don't think McCain-Feingold is as harmless as Medved makes it out to be. While all politicians might be safe from attack ads during the last few weeks before the election, the law does not apply to mainstream media, who are well known to pick and choose their favorite candidates and help them accordingly with positive news coverage, while at the same time, denigrating the candidates they hate with negative news coverage.

And let us not forget the case of two Seattle-area radio talk show hosts who were actually sued by local government for their efforts in opposing a 9.5% hike in a municipal gas tax. The rationale was that the radio segments where the hosts talked about opposing the gas tax were an "in-kind campaign contribution." The radio hosts won the case, but not before it went all the way to the Washington state Supreme Court, and the radio station and its owners undoubtedly spent untold thousands of dollars defending their position. The punishment is in the process.

That is just a taste of what McCain-Feingold's "Campaign Finance Reform" can do to free speech in this country, and that is why Michael Medved is dead wrong when he defends the indefensible. If you want a much more truthful assessment of the problems with John McCain, I urge you to read Ann Coulter's latest column, which just came out today. She pulls no punches, and she always gets to the point.

Good Day to You, Sir

1 comment:

darren said...

Medved cares only about the pro-life position. Anything else is fungible for him.